On the National Day of Private Natural Heritage Reserves (RPPN), celebrated on January 31, Veracel Celulose stands out for preserving the RPPN Estação Veracel, for more than two decades the largest RPPN of the Atlantic Forest in the northeastern region of Brazil. This year, the protected area will complete 25 years of intensive conservation work and environmental education on the conservation of the Atlantic Forest biome in South Bahia. The reserve is located in the municipalities of Porto Seguro and Santa Cruz Cabralia with a total area of 6,069 hectares.
In addition to related ecological discoveries, including sightings of endangered species, such as the jaguar and harpy eagle (the largest aquatic creature in the Americas), Veracil Station also plays an important role in promoting and supporting research. There are already 223 scientific publications (ie articles, journal articles, academic works) that have used data collected in the RPPN or that mention space.
The activities carried out in the RPPN also extend to the employees of the company itself. Since 2021, Veracel has implemented the “Friends of Animals” program, which includes environmental educational activities for the community aimed at preserving the environment, as well as encouraging employees to record animals in company areas with photos.
For Virginia Camargos, environmental strategy and integrated management coordinator at Veracel, investing in knowledge is a strategic pillar that unites the environmental conversation with community development. “We believe in knowledge generation as a form of environmental preservation, social support and economic growth. We contribute to the advancement of academic research that also guides us in the management of the reserve, ensuring a better life for our region,” comments the coordinator.
Recognized by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as a World Natural Heritage Site, the station is considered a major area of bird conservation by BirdLife International, a UK-based environmental organization working in the protection of birds and nature. It is also recognized by the Forest Stewardship Council® Ecosystem Services Certificate – FSC® C017612, issued in Brazil by the Imaflora certifier, for biodiversity conservation.
RPPNs were established in 1990, by Decree No. 98,914, later replaced by Decree No. 1922/1996, with the same goal: to promote environmental conservation, through the action of private landowners. These areas have been, for 33 years, an important source of conservation for Brazilian fauna and flora; Contribute to sustainable development at the national level and also, specifically, in the regions in which they are installed, with activities such as research, ecotourism and environmental education.
RPPN is a category of conservation units which means having an owner, who must enhance ecological balance and quality of life for people throughout the area. “I consider our RPPN to be everyone’s heritage. We are just the keepers of this treasure, ”Virginia comments. “The Verasel plant helps mitigate climate change, maintain the quality of the water supplying the area, as well as preserve pollinators, such as bees and beetles, that contribute directly to local agricultural production,” the coordinator highlights.
The creation of the RPPN assumes a lifelong commitment to preserving the environment. It is to secure important resources to sustain the lives of future generations.
Visitation and environmental education
Among its many conservation activities, Estação Veracel offers an environmentally edutainment program that uses nature experience technology. After restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the RPPN reopened in June 2022. Last year alone, there were 1,593 visitors to the reserve, including staff, researchers, and members of the community, including adults and children, all interested in learning about the information. place and get to know it. Topic. The visiting program is carried out by scheduling and forming groups, by e-mail [email protected], by means of the Veracel website or by phone (73) 3166 8755.
RPPNs Forever: Tales, Magic, and Challenges
To celebrate the history celebrated by RPPNs, the National Confederation of Private Natural Heritage Reserves (CNRPPN) is releasing, this Tuesday (31), the book RPPNs Forever: Tales, Magic, and Challenges. The material brings together, in 460 pages, stories of RPPNs spread all over the country, in order to bring to light this class of conservation units, which is growing more and more in Brazil. Among the examples shown in the book, there is a chapter devoted exclusively to the history and operation of the Veracel station.
The book will be presented via a live broadcast on the YouTube TV channel RPPN Brasil, starting at 7 p.m., with the confirmed presence of Marcia Hirota, President of the SOS Mata Atlântica Foundation, and Rodrigo Agostino, President of the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Resources (IBAMA). The material will be available in e-book version, for free, through a link that will be shared directly during the broadcast.
Main sights of Verassel station
1992 – acquisition of the territory by Veracruz Fluristal, today Veracruz Cellulose
1998 – Recognized by IBAMA as a Special Natural Heritage Reserve (RPPN)
1999 – Recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Site (SPMN)
2005 – Project Harpia begins in the Atlantic Forest
2009 – Approval of the RPPN Management Plan by ICMBio
2010 – along with 16 other protected areas, it became part of the mosaic of protected areas in the far south of Bahia (MAPES)
2011 – Launch of the first art and educational exhibition in partnership with Árvore da Vida
2017 – Review and approval of the new management plan of the RPPN Estação Veracel. Launch of the Discovery Coast birdwatching project. Security cameras capture the jaguar after more than 20 years with no record of the animal in the area. Starting a project with the National Center for Research and Conservation of Carnivorous Mammals (CENAP)
2018 – Two eagle nests with chicks found in RPPN Estação Veracel
2019 – Start of the Regional Biodiversity Integrated Monitoring (BAMGES), together with the Suzano regions. In 2019, the Bird Observatory – RPPN Estação Veracel was established. In 2019, the activities of the seventh category of the Professional Master’s Degree in Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development in Bahia, of the Escola Superior em Conservação Ambiental e Sustentabilidade (ESCAS / IPE) announced, selected and started for the first edition at the RPPN Veracel station. In 2019, the RPPN Estação Veracel hosted the second edition of the Bird Festival in the historic center of Porto Seguro.
2020 – Estação Veracel is recognized with the Forest Stewardship Council® Ecosystem Services Certificate – FSC® C017612, issued in Brazil by the certifier Imaflora, for biodiversity conservation.
2021 – Extremely rare photos of the moment of sexual intercourse between a pair of harpy eagles were recorded at the Disclosure Nest
Learn more about the Veracel RPPN station and see pictures of wild animals in their natural habitat captured with camera traps.
Veracel Celulose is a Brazilian bioeconomy company integrating forestry, industrial and logistic operations, resulting in an average annual production of 1.1 million tons of pulp, providing more than 3.2 thousand private and third-party jobs in the Discovery Coast region, south of Bahia and the Jequitinonha Valley, in Minas gerais. In addition to providing jobs, income and taxes, Veracel is a champion in social and environmental initiatives in the territory. The Great Place to Work (GPTW) rating has validated Veracel as one of the best companies to work for in Brazil for the fifth consecutive year.
In addition to more than 100,000 hectares of environmentally protected areas, it is the custodian of the largest private natural heritage reserve in the Atlantic Forest in northeastern Brazil.
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